Sunday, September 15, 2013

Arrival in Athens - September 14, 2013

Never was a sunrise so welcome!
First land sighting!

It was a long flight.  We left San Antonio at 8:55 AM on Friday, September 13th and landed in Greece on Saturday, September 14th at 9:40 AM Athens Time.  Did I mention it was a long flight?

We were so proud of ourselves.  All our luggage arrived with us.  We found the metro, bought tickets, got them validated, managed a metro transfer, and found our hotel . . . all seemingly without incident.  Well, pride goes before the fall.  My brother soon discovered his pocket had been picked.  They didn't get any cards or documents, just several hundred dollars in American cash.  After years of international travel, he had finally met his match.

There was nothing to do but shake off the disappointment and get on with it.  We pooled our resources and had a beer.

Then it was off to the National Museum of Archaeology   What a fantastic collection.  The following are a few of my favorite photos.

One observation:  The similarity between ancient Old World and ancient New World in the art department seems to be significant.
I swear I have seen sculptures very much like this in Mayan art exhibits.  Thoughtful gaze.  Looking up.  Obviously well hung.  What gives?!?!

Some of you may remember me raving about the book The Riddle of the Labyrinth:  The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code.  I got to see an example of both Linear A and Linear B.

Look closely.  Those little scribble marks are an example of Linear A.

And this is the best example of Linear B.  What a puzzle this was!

We wrapped up the museum with a macchiato freddo for each of us.  Needless to say, we needed the caffeine and the garden cafe was just the right place.

Walking back to the hotel, we needed some help with directions.  Frosty never loses faith.  Disgusted by his experience with the thievery and bone-tired, he was still up for making small talk with a little old lady.  Thanks to her good directions, we got on the right track quickly.  

But the right track led us by this.  Hunger strike!  Protest signs were hanging on the fence all along the street.  It was a study in frustration over the terrible economic conditions Greece is experiencing and a reminder to be a little more on guard in the days to come.

A short nap, a good shower, and we were off to find dinner.  We found a great pasta and Greek salad at Diva, a quick walk from the hotel on a pedestrian street.  The weather was perfect for eating outside.  And we wrapped up the day with a language lesson:  How do you say cheers in Greek?  Yammus!

Off to bed!  Tomorrow we attack the Acropolis.